tv Washington This Week CSPAN September 11, 2011 2:00pm-6:00pm EDT
that boulder remains. that is the site where the plane hit the earth. we're going to take telephone calls and continue your reflections on this anniversary. next is a call from michael in orlando. today, irs ago remember in the early morning hours i was on my way to class at a community college. we got to class and nobody was in the room. we went to the box office. pretty much all of our classmates and instructor were in there watching tv.
i walked in the room and looked up at the tv. unbeknownst to me at the time, i saw the flight hit the south world trade center tower. everyone started shouting when that happened. i was asking what was going on. i remember my professors say we were under attack. shortly after that, the college announced they would be closing and everyone had to vacate because of the state of emergency. me and my friends walked out into the courtyard. we literally felt like we were the only people left on campus. everyone was gone already. except for a friend of mine that walk, a girl i had known for a long time, she was absolutely terrified and inasmuch as we were.
we literally thought it was world war iii. we did not know anything. she was scared and asked for us to take her with us wherever we were going. at that point, we did not know where to go. we went over to a cafe, the 1950's diner we would go to after crosses. we went there and sat at the bar. we watched along with everyone else there. shouting, tears, disbelief as we watched the towers collapse into dust. >> since you can recount so vividly the events of that day, how have you processed them and made them part of your life story? >> 10 years later, i am 29. i was 19 at the time.
that event for me in my generation, it was very important to me. since then what we have seen happen with our country, i really felt as an american having a sense of duty, i felt was important to read the 9/11 commission report and do investigating myself. i felt it was one of those very important things. that is what i did. after doing a lot of the investigation, i encourage pretty much anyone that instead of letting the people who died from a just remembering them and how horrible it was, and really do believe it is a good thing as
a memory to them to do your best to know about 911. no all the details you can. read the commission report. read about the investigation. when it comes down to it, our country was founded on seeking the truth and remembering our history. for me personally, i really do believe you really should look into anything that happened on this day and really do an investigation yourself. >> thank you, michael. later on this afternoon, we will show a portion of the 9/11 commission. all that is available on our website for people who want to go to michael's level of investigation. you can also read the report.
let me read the end of it. the right that it is different now. -- they write that it is different now. the economy has replaced terrorism as the top national concern. public opinion is conflicted about the war in afghanistan. people complained about excessive security of airports. nannyberry their memories or about thelking memories of 9/11. fund-raising for the memorial in pennsylvania has come up $10 million short. some say they are tired of the annual ceremonies and it is time to move on. -- many have buried their memories or stopped talking about the memories of 9/11.
here is another video clip fron this 9/11th anniversary. he was to head the 9/11 compensation fund. that gave him the difficult task of how to allocate money to the families of individual victims. in 2005, we interviewed him. let's listen to what he had to say back then. >> clearly, the hardest part was the decision i made in designing the program to meet with any individual family were victims who survived -- or victim who survive to wanted to meet with me personally, to discuss their plight, why they felt they were entitled to more money, why they felt that 9/11 was an unfair,
unjust curveballs thrown at them. accordingly, over 33 months, i met with about 1500 individual family members. that was harrowing. >> which meeting do you remember the most? >> the very first meeting. a woman came to see me. she was 25 years old. she was crying and sobbing. she said she lost her husband in the world trade center and had been awarded about $1 million to take care of her two little children who lost their father. she said she needed more money and needed it fast. i asked why she needed more and why the request for speed. she said she had terminal cancer
and only had two months to live. she said her husband was going to survive her and take care of the children. now they would be orphans. she asked that we help her quickly. we did. i substantially increased the award, accelerated payments. she died two months later, at least knowing that is structured financial program had been set up for her two surviving small children. hundreds like that. >> give us another one. >> i lost my husband. he was a fireman who died at the world trade center. i want you to know that there is no god, mr. feinber, because my husband rescued 30 people at the world trade center and brought them to safety. he was told it was too dangerous
and not to go back. he said there were 10 more people trapped in the mezzanine of the world trade center. she said while he was running back across the world trade center plaza, he was killed by somebody who jumped to their deaths from the 103rd floor and hit him. if he had been one step by the way -- either way, he might have survived. like a coordinated missile, someone left to their death and killed them both. "i want you to know no amount of money, there is no justice. why me? why my husband?" stories like that. >> more stories from 9/11 as we mark the 10-year anniversary of the attack on the united states.
the chicago paper looks back to illustrate their coverage. we will take a few more telephone calls. then we will be showing you more of the 9/11 commission and their accounting of the attacks on the world trade center. that will be coming shortly. huntington beach, california, stacey, you are on the air. >> i had a feeling that night something terrible would happen, the night before. it was not something i could do anything about because i did not know what it was. i stayed up all night watching the news, waiting for the horrible thing. that morning is when it happened with the airplane is hitting the towers. i felt so helpless. a lot of people have said they felt something, the victims and survivors. it was just a bad feeling. they could not do anything about
it. what has really hit me throughout these last 10 years is the dignified way in which the american people respond to crisis and even being under attack. we people came out and the border, they help each other. they stopped and picked each other up. -- the way people came out with water. they help each other. they stopped and picked each other up. it is an example to the world of how free and democratic people behave. people all races and creeds coming together, not venting rage at the enemy or people who did this, but with a good heart
and pulling together. that is unique and rare. you do not see that in other countries where they are more depressed and angry. we do still set out a good example to the rest of the world of how free nations respond. i think there are lessons learned on an individual basis from the details of what happened at 9/11. if someone tells you not to evacuate, but your gut tells you to evacuate, evacuate. we need to trust ourselves in different situation. if no one else is helping, be the person that stands up and starts to help. be the person that shows that leadership. do not wait for someone else to tell you what to do. the people that stayed in the building and help, they took
leadership and started helping people. nobody had to ask them to do it. those of the lessons i have learned from 9/11. step up when no one else's, stepping up, and to follow my gut instinct in a crisis. we do not talk about it but we see it all the time. by contrast -- i can contrast that our people might riot over a cartoon. it touches me. we're still a great nation. we're still a great people. we may have problems but we are still a great people. >> that was stacey from huntington beach, california. let me show you the cover of the "boston globe."
that is the date where the american airlines flight departed from. below it, they had this headline. "that day remains brilliantly lit yet deep in shadows." chicago, this is richard. >> thank you for taking my call. i wanted to mention three things, how tasteful and heartfelt the memorial has been today with the reading of the names, the emotions of the people who read them, the beautiful waterfall, the names engraved. it is a very meaningful memorial. i wanted to mention a friend of mine, lisa gregg. she is a wonderful person, a free spirit, very bright, and not holyoke graduate who had
gone to school for history and then switched to finance. she ended up in one of the world trade center towers and was killed that day. i want to remember her and all of the other people who were lost, just wonderful souls. i want to agree and disagree with some comments that have come through. there was a woman from chicago who mentioned that she never had to with a photo id -- look at a photo id when she started working. i think it is sad with regards to our rights to privacy and travel. there are no proposals for a national i.d. the 9/11 commission is pushing this. on the other hand, the commission is critical of some of the things as being
ineffective. i think it is important to use the inspiration of these events to look for ways to preserve our liberties and privacy and also find ways to increase our security. there are organizations like passenger rights organizations, the liberty coalition, the cyber privacy project, the first amendment foundation. they try to preserve our basic freedoms, but also try to make our country safer. i would commend all the beautiful thoughts, but also look to the issues that we need to address for the future. >> that was richard calling us from chicago. the 9/11 commission is what we have next. we will show you a portion of many weeks of testimony they
gathered. this recounts the events of the morning of 9/11. >> the 56 minutes from the crash of flight 175 into the south tower at 9:00 03 until the collapse of the south tower. finally, the 27 minutes from the collapse of the south tower until the collapse of the north tower. at 8:46, a hijacked american airlines flight flew into the upper portion of the north tower.
the plane cut through floors of the building. all three of the building stairwells became impossible from the 92nd floor up. hundreds of civilians were killed instantly by the impact. hundreds more remain alive but trapped. a fireball erupted on impact and shot down at least one bank of elevators. fireball erupted on floors, the lobby level, and four stories below ground. it created thick smoke that engulfed the floors and roof of the tower. the roof of the south tower was also involved in smoke because of the prevailing light winds from the north. within minutes, the new york
city 911 system was flooded with witness accounts. most callers correctly identified the site of the attack. some identified the plane as a commercial airliner. everything the what happened to those in the building the next few minutes return on their circumstances and prepared this, assisted by personnel on the site. all building stairwells were destroyed. those trapped on or above the 92nd floor gathered in groups between 1 03 and 1 06. others were trapped by debris. others were trapped in the lower floors. because of damage to the building systems, civilians did not receive instructions on how to proceed over the public
address system. many were unable to use the emergency phones as instructed in fire drills. many called 911. for 911 operators and inspectors had no information about the location or magnitude of the impact zone. they were not able to provide information as fundamental as whether a college or above or below the fire. operators were also not given any information about the feasibility of rooftop rescues. in most instances, operators and dispatchers rely on standard operating procedure for high- rise fires. those advised civilians to stay low, remain where they were, and wait for emergency personnel to reach them. this device was given to callers in the north tower above and below the impact. the protocol of advising against evacuation, telling people to stay where they were, was one of the lessons learned from the 1993 bombing.
we were told the evacuation of thousands of people can create new problems, especially for disabled individuals or those in poor health. many of the injuries after the 1993 bombing occurred after the evacuation. the evacuees complicated the work of emergency workers. the default guidance to stay in place may seem understandable in conventional fires. emergency officials that morning quickly determined the tower should be evacuated. the acting director ordered everyone to evacuate the building. the public address system was damaged. no one heard the announcement. one of the few ways to communicate with people in the building was through calls to emergency operators. we found no protocol for communicating updated evacuation guidance through the operators receiving calls for help. some operators advised callers that they could break windows.
some were advising people to evacuate if they could. below the impact zone in the north tower, those who could began evacuating the stairs almost immediately. >> after going out into the hallway and yelling for people to get out, i went back in to get my pocketbook, flashlight, and whistle. the flashlight was useful for the first few flights going down. it was completely dark. there was water flowing down. it was dangerous. there was some debris on the landing. the air quality was not too bad. there was some small light. it was never heavy smoke. we could breathe. the light in the stairwells were all the way down except for the first two or three flights. >> civilians and called the port authority desk for advice to leave if they could.
most began evacuating without waiting to obtain instructions over the intercom system. some had trouble reaching the exits because of damage caused by the impact. they were confused by deviations in the crowd as stairwells. they were impeded by doors were locked were jammed as a result of the impact. despite these obstacles, the evacuation was relatively calm and orderly. >> we never really heard any announcements or received any information. that was all the way down. it got more and more congested as we went further down. we went down a long hallway. at the end of it was a locked door. we cannot go further. we went back up to 78 because we knew that was a sky lobby. >> within 10 minutes of impact, smoke was beginning to rise to the upper floors. isolated fires were reported. there were some pockets of refuge.
facing heat, smoke, and fire with no prospects for relief, some jumped or fell from the building. many civilians in the south tower were not aware initially of what happened in the other tower. >> i heard a loud boom. the lights buzzed. my peripheral vision caught something. outside the glass was swirling flames. i assumed there had been an explosion upstairs. >> smoke was on the side where the one world trade was. people were screaming that a bomb went off. >> many in the south tower decided to leave. some companies were evacuated by company security officials.
the evacuations did not provide a specific protocol on when to evacuate one tower over the other. the deputy fire safety of the north tower spoke with his counterpart in the north tower. they decided to wait for fda like to arrive before evacuating. one fire chief said was unimaginable another airplane. the other tower. an announcement came over the croupier system urging people to stay in place. -- an announcement came over the address system urging people to stay in place. >> i heard a familiar voice asking for attention. building two is secure. there's no need to evacuate. you may return to your office. repeat -- building two is secure. the announcement was repeated.
>> evacuees were advised by building personnel to return to their offices. the port authority told us this device may have been prompted by the safety hazards posed by falling debris and victims outside the building. similar advice was given by officials in the south tower. we do not know the reason for this device -- advice. as a result of the announcement, many civilians in the south tower remained on their floors. others reversed their evacuation and went back up. >> after the first announcement over the p.a. system not to evacuate, i felt comfortable to stay on the floor. >> at the time of impact, i was talking to a gentleman who said he had gone down 10 floors and had come back up because of the
announcement. >> as we were about to exit the building, the security guard asked why we were going. he said the building was safe and secure. about your office. -- go back to your office. >> they gave conflicting advice to people in the south tower about whether to evacuate. we have been fortunate in learning about the fdny response to have the cooperation of those who coordinated the response. they were filmed throughout the morning by a french film maker preparing a documentary about firefighters. we have reviewed the unedited footage and dumped the chiefs as they viewed the footage, commenting on events as they listened. the response began immediately after the crash.
>> right from the beginning before we even arrived at the trade center, where you see is the beginning of an incident command center. things were placed in order. command was taken immediately. is it looks like the plane aiming towards the building. we will have the staging area. we will have the third-alarm assignment in that area. the second alarm will be across from the building. >> when the plane hit the building, we started our incident command system. >> the chief and four companies arrived. as they entered the lobby, they immediately encountered badly burned civilians who were caught in the path of the firewall. the initial incident commanders were briefed by building
personnel. >> when we entered the lobby, joe had assumed command. i came in and was receiving a briefing from the chief. he was giving me the status of the building systems. he was informing me the elevators were not working at a time. they had a report from the fire safety director that the airplane had crashed around the 70th floor. joe has started units up and >> units began mobilizing in the increasingly crowded lobby. >> you have to understand we have 99 elevators in each of the
towers and those have to be checked to see if there were operating. without elevators, it meant the firefighters carrying 100 pounds of equipment would have to climb some 90 floors just to get to where we could start a rescue operation for people trapped above the damaged areas. >> these are units coming in, awaiting assignment. we are trying to get the elevators working, conferring with the port authority personnel there. this took time for them to come back and confirmed to us we had no elevators operating. once we realized we did not have elevators operating, we began giving instruction to members to start a sending the stairs. -- start a sending of the stairs. >> it was difficult to keep track of arriving units. there are frustrated by the lack of working elevators.
>> my aid arrived in the u.s. setting up the command aboard dickensian the background. he was setting up the board which accounts for the units as they come in. once they're given an assignment, they are entered on the command board and that is how we keep track of the individuals. walking off to the right, i am trying to get the port authority personnel and chief fire to come with me. i wanted to have a private discussion about the building systems and particularly at the elevators. that was the primary concern, that we did not have elevators available. you can see the damage the plane cost. the tiles on the floor. we see more units command. >> shortly before 9:00, the fire department chief advised personnel to evacuate the adjacent south tower. impressed by the magnitude of the catastrophe, the fire chiefs decided to clear the whole complex, including the south
tower. by 9:00, many senior fire department leaders, including seven of the 11 most highly ranked cheese, began responding from headquarters in brooklyn. -- 11 of the most highly ranked chiefs. they called to more rescue teams. the chief arrived at approximately 9 -- at 9:00 and established a command post on the west side highway. emergency medical service personnel were directed to one of four areas around the perimeter of the trade center. many ambulances were rushing to the complex. in the north tower lobby, the chief made the decision to fire in the north tower could not be fought. >> we realized because of the impact of the plane and the structural damage to the building, most likely the fire
suppression system in the building were probably damaged and possibly inoperable. we made that conclusion and we know there were as many as 50,000 people in the building during the day. each floor was approximately 1 acre in size. several floors of fire would have been beyond the capability of the forces we have on hand. we determined very early on that this would be strictly a rescue mission. we were going to evacuate the building and get everyone out and we were going to get out. >> the chief decided to concentrate on evacuating civilians from the north tower. although they held various views about whether anyone at or above the impact zone could be saved. if only those units dispatched had responded and if there were not writing heavy with extra man, 235 firefighters would be at the scene or and route. the vast majority would be expected to enter the north tower. >> this is rescue one entering the lobby right now.
at this time, we're getting a number of distress calls coming in from the 911 and port authority personnel of people in distress on various floors. as we got the information coming in, we would give the assignments out to the company. if we had a report of people trapped in elevators, we would send a company to that specific floor. we had reports of people in wheelchairs and we gave out assignments to companies who often get people out. these were difficult assignments. i had a strong inner sense throughout this entire operation that we were going to lose people in this day. what we did know was that tens of thousands of people were in their greatest moment of need and firefighters came in and
they received orders from our command staff and they turn around, they took up their toes, and they picked up their tools and they went upstairs. what you see here in this footage is my brother going upstairs. there are so many other firefighters -- that was last time we saw them. >> the nypd response began seconds after the crash. at 8:47, a level 3 mobilization was ordered. an initial mobilization for patrol officers was established on the west and resection of west and liberty streets. rescue teams were directed to mobilize at church and bessie streets. the first of these officers arrived at 8:56. at 8:50, the aviation unit
dispatched to helicopters to the trade center to report on conditions and access the -- assess the feasibility of a rooftop landing or special rescue. within 10 minutes, port authority was assisting with the evacuation of civilians. at 8:58, the helicopter pilot reported on rooftop conditions. >> on the morning of september 11th, as i arrived at world trade tower 1, i was assessing the damage on the north side of the building. the rooftop area for the possibility of rooftop extraction from one of our heavier lift helicopters. at that point, a few passes and slow passes, we may determinations that we did not see anyone up on the roof. more so, we had problems with heat and smoke from the building. the heat made it difficult to hold the helicopter because it
would interfere with the rudder system. >> at 8:58, the chief of the nypd raised mobilization to level 4, the highest level, which would result in a dispatch of approximately 30 lieutenants, 100 sargents, and 800 police officers, in addition to the rescue teams already at the scene. the chief arrived at 9:00. at 9:01, the mobilization at west and the liberty was moved to west and bessie to handle the greater number of patrol officers who would be responding to the level for mobilization. these officers would be stayed fashioned from a complex to assist with crowd control and evacuation. around the city, routes were cleared around major thoroughfares for emergency vehicles responding to the trade center. the nypd and port authorities coordinated the closing of bridges, subways and tunnels into manhattan. the port authority onside
officer was standing the concourse when the fire baltics bloated out of the tower causing him to die for cover. port authority from bridge, tunnel and airport commands began responding to the trade center. officers began assisting in evacuating civilians. the port authority lacked clear standing operating procedures to guide personnel responding in one command to another to a major incident. the fire safety director in charge of the complex arrived at approximately 8:52 and was informed by the fire safety director that evacuation instructions had been announced within one minute of the impact. as mentioned earlier, to our knowledge, because the system had been damaged upon impact, no civilians heard the announcement. at 9:00, the port authority commanding officer ordered an evacuation from the complex because of the danger posed by highly flammable jet fuel. the order was issued over a radio channel that could only be
heard by officers on the command channel. there is no evidence as was reported to other police commands or other responding agencies. at 9:00, the port authority police superintendent arrived and they made their way to the north tower lobby. some officers began climbing the stairs and assisting civilians. >> i went up the b staircase and started proceeding up at one. while people coming were coming down the staircase, some people were burned and injured and required assistance. i could have taken one person and taken that person down, but i thought the greater good would be to get to the 44th floor and assist our people. i assigned people injured two people who were uninjured and said help carry this person down to the triage area downstairs. people were more than happy to
help each other out. >> officials from the office of emergency management headquarters began to activate the emergency operations center after the north tower was hit. at 8:50, a senior representative arrived in the north tower and began to act as field responder. summary -- in the 70 minutes between 8:46 and 9:03 aunts of deborah 11, new york city and the port authority have rescue -- had organized the largest rescue operation in the city. over 1,001st responders were deployed. evacuations were begun and critical decisions that the fire could not be fought were made. the decision was made to evacuate the south tower. at 9:00 to, a further announcement was ordered to begin a orderly evacuation. one minute later, united 175 at the south tower. >> from 9:03 until -- from 9:03
until 9:59, the hijacked flight hits the south tower from the south, crashing through the 78 to 84 floors. what had been the largest and most complicated issue in city history instantly double in magnitude. the plane banked, leaving portions of the building and damage. as a consequence, one of the stairwells initially remained passible from top to bottom. >> looking to the direction of the statue of vote -- the statue of liberty, and i'm looking at an airplane coming i level toward me. a giant airplane. i can still see the letter u on
its tail. i dropped the phone and dove under my desk. i heard the most year shattering sound ever. the plane just crashed into the building. the bottom wing slice right through the office and stuck in my office door 20 feet from where i am huddled under my desk. >> at the lowest point of impact, hundreds had been waiting to evacuate when the plane hit. many were killed or injured sibylla -- severely. we know of at least one civilian who seized the initiative and shouted that anyone who could walk should walk to the stairs and anyone who could help should help those in need of assistance. two groups of civilians descended from the floor. others remained alive above the 78th floor, the conditions began to deteriorate within 10 minutes. >> the ceiling caved in. part of the 82nd floor collapsed. i'm trapped under a desk, the
only desk that stood firm. everything else was broken up. it looked like a demolition crew came in just knocked in everything. computers were broken up, everything. >> as in the north tower, civilians became first responders. >> we went down the hallway on the 84th floor and i happened to turn left on a stairway a. we descended to the 81st floor when we met a very heavyset woman and she emphatically told our group to stop, we have just come off the floor in flames. we have to get above the flames and smoke. that was all i heard of her conversation because i heard someone inside 81st floor banging on the wall and screaming help, i am buried. i cannot breathe. i noticed my workmates, the heavyset woman and her traveling companion were starting to go up
the stairs. that day, they all perished, unfortunately. but they were dealing with the information they had. none of us had known what happened or what was about to happen. >> i'm watching the plane, and watching the floor, and somebody heard me scream on the other end and they have a flashlight. >> this person was directing me, this person who was trapped, left, right, and i kept moving with my flashlight. >> the man said i know exactly where you are. >> somehow, i grabbed him around the arms and up and over the neck. i went through what was a wall, and we fell on a heap on the floor. >> he put his hand around my neck and said come on, let's go home. >> some civilians ascended the stairs and some assistance to help colleagues. although the stairwell remained possible from above impact zone to the lobby, the conditions were difficult and
deteriorating. >> upon entering the stairway, has started to run down the stairs. the conditions in the stairs were smoky. there were no lights in the stairway. there was a glow strip on the floor in the center of the stairs and also one of the handrail. >> i knew we had to take the stairwell, but there was so much rubble, i think we slid down from the 86th floor to 81st floor. we actually tried to walk and slid right down. >> there was smoke and water flowing under foot. a couple of places around the 78 floor, there was only one layer of drywall left which was cracked and the flames were looking at the other sides of the wall. >> many ascended in search of clear air or attempting to reach the roof. there were thwarted by locks
doors. others attempting to send were frustrated by jammed door locked doors or confused by this structure of the stairwell deviation. >> what happened was the stairway -- i learned that stairway c was the same. the stairway does not just go back and forth. as you descend a few floors, you go to a situation where you must traverse a doubt i hallway. you have to go down a hallway, make a turn and there's another transition later. it was a bit of confusion, especially in the darkness and especially when that was the distressed area. >> by 9:35, the west street lobby level was becoming overwhelmed by injured who descended to the lobby but having difficulty continuing. within 15 minutes after the impact, debilitating smoke reached one location on the 100th floor and severe conditions were reported
throughout the 90's and 100 over the following half an hour. by 9:30, a number of civilians killed to reach the roof and could not to send because intensifying smoke and became trapped. there were reports of tremendous smoke, but at least one area remained less affected until the building collapsed. still, there were several areas between the impact zone and uppermost floors where conditions were better. at least 100 people remained alive and the '88 and '89 floor, and some cases calling 9114 direction. the system remain plagued by the operators lack of awareness of what was occurring in the sheer volume of calls. >> it was a frustrating experience calling 911. i'm sure it was over three minutes, and duration, but five minutes, but certainly over three minutes, where i told them when they answered the phone where i was. that i passed someone on the 44th floor who was injured and
they needed to get a medic and a stretcher to this floor and i described the situation in brief. the person asked for my phone number and put me on hold. they said you have to talk to one of my supervisors. suddenly i was on hold and i waited a considerable amount of time. someone else came on the phone and i repeated the story and that happened again and i was on hold a second time and needed to repeat the story for a third time. i told the third person i'm only telling you once and i'm getting out of the building. here are the details. right down and do what you should do and i put the phone down. stanley and i went back to the stairs and continued all laydown to the plaza level. -- continued all the way down to the plaza level. >> no one knew that this stairwell remained possible. no one was a biased helicopter rescued were not feasible. civilians were advised to stay
where they were. back in the north tower, the evacuation generally continued. dozens of civilians continue to descend in an orderly matter. -- an orderly manner. all but one was uninjured and able to descend. at 9:11, port authority workers on the 64th floor of the tower were told by the port authority to stay near the stairwells and wait for assistance. these workers eventually began to descend anyway, but most of them died in the collapse of the north tower. those who descended stairwell b exited between elevator banks and the lobby. others exited at the raised mezzanine level where smoky air as causing problems. all were directed into the concourse at lobby level and officers continue to assist with the evacuation of civilians. guiding them through the concourse to shelter them from falling debris and victims.
>> when we went down to the concourse, it was just people trying to get out. the security and rescue people directed us to keep moving and allow toward quarters and then go out. >> by 9:55, the few civilians still evacuating in the north tower consisted primarily of injured, handicapped, elderly, were severely overweight individuals. called 2911 reflected others remained alive but trapped above and below the impact zone, reporting increasingly desperate conditions. immediately after the second plane hit, the f -- the chief called a second alarm. while nine brooklyn crews had been staged, the units were not dispatched at this time. instead, units from further away were dispatched. just after the south tower impact, chiefs from the north
tower huddled to discuss strategy for operations and communications in the two towers. at 9:05, two chiefs tested the computer system. this was installed after the '93 bombing to unable firefighters to get to the upper floors and maintain consistent communication with lobby command. the system had been activated for use for portable radios at 8:54. a second button which would have enabled the master and set was not activated. the chief did not realize the master and said had not been activated. when he could not communicate, he concluded the system was down. the system was working, however, and was used subsequently by the firefighters in the south tower. the chief of safety agreed with the consensus that the only choice was to let the fires " burn up and out." the chiefs and the north tower were forced to make decisions based on little or no
information. >> one of the most critical things in the nature of an operation like this is to have information. we did not have a lot of information coming in. we did not receive any reports of voter sing from helicopters and it was impossible to know how much damage was done on the upper floors, whether the stairwells were intact or not. what you saw on tv, we did not have that information. >> people watching on tv suddenly had more knowledge of what was happening 100 floors above us than we did in the lobby. suddenly, without any information, without critical information coming in, the cumulative effect of the information coming in, it's very difficult to make informed and critical decisions without that information. our communications systems were down. our building systems were down,
the elevators -- we had no video capability throughout the entire operation. >> climbing the stairwells carrying heavy a equipment was a laborious task even for physically fit firefighters. though the lobby command did not know it, when she found a working elevator which he took to the 16th floor before beginning to climb. prior to 10:00, about one hour after firefighters began streaming into the north tower, to companies of firefighters climbed to the sky lobby on the 44th floor of the north tower. numerous units were located between the fifth and 37 floors in the north tower. at approximately 9:07, two chiefs commenced operations in the south tower lobby. almost immediately, they were joined by an emergency field responder but not joined by a sizable number of fire companies, as most if not all units which had been at north tower lobby remained there. one chief found a working
elevator to the 40th floor. one member of the company stayed behind to operate the elevator. unlike the commanders in the north tower, these chiefs in the south tower kept radios on the repeater channel. for the first minutes, communications among them worked well. upon learning that the impact zone began at the 70th floor, a ladder company transmitted this information and the chief directed a company on the 40th floor to attempt to find an elevator to reach the upper level. unfortunately, never achieved outside the south tower realized the repeater channel was functioning and using -- used by people in the south tower. people in the north lobby were unable to reach the south tower command post initially. communications also began to break down within the south tower. the units responding to the south tower were advised to use tactical channel 3. from 9:21 on, the chief was
unable to reach the south tower lobby command post. the chiefs seized to transmit on the repeater channel at that time. the first fatality of the day occurred approximately 9:25 when a civilian landed on a fireman on west street. by 9:30, few of the units dispatched to the south tower arrived at their staging area. many were unfamiliar with the complex and could not enter the south tower because of the danger of victims and debris falling on liberty street. some enter the marriott hotel and were given assignments there. others responded to the north tower mistakenly. an additional second alarm was requested at 9:37 because so few units had reported. at this time, units staged on the brooklyn side were sent and many arrived at the world trade center by 9:55. at 9:50, a ladder company made its way to the 70th floor of the south tower. they encountered many seriously injured people. at 9:53, a group of civilians
were found trapped in the sky lobby. by 9:58, the chiefs reached the 78 floor and reported it looked open to the 79th floor. he reported numerous civilian fatalities in the area. a ladder company was preparing to use hoses to fight the fire when the south tower collapsed. so far, we concentrated on the fire department command set up in the north and south towers. the overall incident command was just outside the world trade center complex. at 9:10, because of the danger of falling debris, it was moved to its western edge by the parking garage in front of to world financial center. the overall ability to track all units was extremely limited. at approximately 9:20, the mayor and the nypd commissioner reached the at the ny overall command post. the mayor was briefed on operations and said this was a
rescue mission of civilians. he said they believe they could save everyone below the impact zones and advised in his opinion, rooftop rescue operations would be impossible. none of the chiefs present believed a total collapse of the their tower was possible. later, after the mayor left, won the senior chief articulate his concern that upper floors could begin to collapse in a few hours, so he said firefighters should not ascend above floors in the '60s. by 9:20, significantly for -- significantly more firefighters were dispatched to work in route. many were given permission to ride heavy. others found alternative transportation and responded. an entire company of off-duty firefighters managed to come to the world trade center as a complete team in addition to be on duty teams which had been dispatched to the scene. numerous marshals also reported to the scene. at 9:46, the chief of department called a third alarm, and this
meant that over one-third of all the units in new york city were committed to the world trade center. the police department was also responding massively after the attack on the south tower. almost 2000 officers were called to the seat. the chief of the department called for operation omega, to evacuate and secure sensitive places around the city. the chief of the department instructed no units were to land on the roof of the their tower. a rescue team in the north tower lobby prepared to climb at approximately 9:15. they attempted to check in with the chiefs but were rebuffed. offices of emergency management personnel did not intercede. the team went to work anyway, climbing the stairwell to set up a triage center for victims who could not walk. later, a second rescue team arrived and did not attempt to check in with the command post. nypd rescue teams entered the south tower. the office of emergency
management field responder insured they check in with the lobby chief. it was agreed the rescue team would stand in support of personnel from the fire department. the firm -- the third and fourth teams were preparing to leave the church and bessie to enter the towers. at approximately 9:30, one of the helicopters present our raw -- rooftop evacuations would still not be possible. >> after the second tower was hit, we tried to make our way to that area, but the smoke from the first building, the first hour of scared at the rooftop. it was the first hour-and-a-half that was critical. and we were flying a horseshoe pattern over about an hour and a half before the buildings collapsed. there was no -- nobody on the
roof, and this was still factored in by the heat. >> at 9:37, a civilian on the 106th floor reported that the 90th floor was collapsing. this was conveyed indirectly by the operator to a dispatcher. the dispatcher confused the substance of this call at 9:52 to officers on the scene, that -- the 106th floor is crumbling. by 9:58, there were two rescue teams in each tower, and approximately 10 other officers in the towers. >> we went up to the 21st floor, with a half-dozen to a dozen firefighters.
we noticed the amount of civilians was almost nothing. and there were numerous officers on the ground throughout the process, assisting with the evacuation. a greater number of officers were staged throughout lower manhattan, assisting in the civilian evacuations. prior to 9:59, no helicopter transmission grid that either tower would collapse. additional responses for the police desk in five world trade center in the north tower. officers were asked to expedite the evacuation, and the
civilians were received -- for the specific rescue efforts and others, including the superintendent began to climb to the impact zone. the port authority police chief began to climb as well, to reach the restaurant on the 106th floor, where there were at least 100 people trapped. they lacked clear operating procedures for the multi command response and a radio challenge that all commands could access. many of them did not work after they got out of the immediate command. by claude 30, the port authority requested that the officers await further instructions. in the absence of predetermine leadership roles, a number of
inspectors and the tenants stepped forward to formulate an on-site response plan. they were hampered by not knowing how many officers were responding and where they were. many of the officers lacked suitable protection. >> also on the north tower, to police teams have reached the floors -- and numerous officers were also climbing in the south tower. many officers were assisting with evacuations, and at 5 world trade center they were supporting the command posts. >> i was the only port authority police officer there at the time.
there is a secret service agent who was there, afterwards, and some police officers showed up. and everyone was working together. and there was no standing operating procedure. we did whatever we had to do. >> the emergency response effort continued after the crash into the south tower. it became increasingly critical and increasingly difficult. the commanders from the responding agencies -- and in some cases what these responders were doing. >> and i caught 59, -- at 9:59 the south tower collapsed.
we believe that all the people still inside the tower were killed as numb -- as well as a number of individuals in the concourse of the neighboring streets. the next emergency issue was to decide what to do with the north tower once the south tower had collapsed. 911 calls grew increasingly desperate, and the only civilians to evacuate were injured or handicapped. the first responders were assisting those people in evacuating. they ceased to operate after the collapse of this tower.
>> all the sudden, we hear a loud roar. and we are able to go into this small area to the left, the towers, the passageway to 6 world trade center. and everything goes black. what we thought is that we were the ones in trouble, that something happened, that something crashed into the lobby, or maybe the elevators had blown out. we thought we were the guys in trouble. when we could not maintain the command post, we made a decision that we had to regroup and pull people out of the building.
we were completely unaware that the south tower had collapsed. we knew some significant event had taken place, with one of the elevators crashing into the lobby, but this was not in the thought process that the south tower had collapsed. >> and marine units radioed immediately about the collapse. the chiefs of the north tower ordered an evacuation of the building. >> i heard this message, really loud. an hour later i repeated this, and evacuate the building. we have firefighters many floors above, taking the time to come down.
what we did not know is that we were running out of time. >> and marine units radioed immediately that the south tower had collapsed. firefighters began to hear evacuation orders and, with the channel being used in the north tower. the command was also given on channel 2, which was much less crowded. on the other floors they heard this and repeated this to everyone they encountered. at least one of them repeated the evacuation order on the first hour. there was a difficult, high-rise environment. this was compound by the numerous communications after
the south tower collapsed. the evacuation orders -- in the north tower they responded. they were off duty and they did not have their radios. some of the firefighters were supposed to have gone to the south tower and were using the tactical channel. many delayed their evacuations in order to assist the victims who could not move on their own. and many perished. many on the scene were unaware that the south tower had collapsed. none of the evacuation orders follow the specific protocol that included the stating of "mayday" for the urgent evacuation. none of the orders mentioned the south tower had collapsed.
>> even with the order to evacuate, they were not aware the building had collapsed. mount of danger that they were in at they did not realize the danger they were in. we were regrouping. and the firefighters were coming down with epopepeople. and they were helping more people to get out. >> the police department had a better understanding of the situation. the south towers collapsed -- the south tower's collapse disrupted the command post at church and vessie. nonetheless the nypd command structure gave vital help to its units. >> there was this tremendous roar, tremendous. i looked up and the south tower
was imploding. i got behind a vehicle and they went from white to gray to black and then back again. it just was happening and i was calling units out of the north tower. the units in the north tower did not know that the south tower had collapsed. >> we at that point because we in an area where there were no windows didn't exactly know what was going on. the building obviously shook. the noise from the collapse was heard by us but we didn't know exactly what we were going through. >> the building was shaking. ceiling tiles were falling. but they did not know why. this was as a result of the south tower collapse. >> as soon as that subsided somewhat, we were communicated from officer winkler who was our command post operator that the south tower had completely collapsed and we were to be -- we were being called out of the building. at first, we kind of didn't understand that transmission. we clearly understood it but to
think that a building of 100 and some stories would be completely collapsed was kind of like, you know, almost not believable at that moment. so we asked for him to confirm that and to repeat his message. he then explained that there was no south tower. there was absolutely -- it was absolutely gone and our building was in imminent danger of collapse and we should come out of the building immediately. >> they descended down in a controlled manner, still checking the floors on the way down. they didn't rush out. as they got down and got across west street, the north tower collapsed. >> many nypd radio frequencies became overwhelmed with transmissions relating to injured, trapped or missing officers. by 10:10 the nypd rescue team advised they were moving their command post north and began moving vehicles in that direction. nypd aviation radioed in immediately that the south tower had collapsed. at 10:08 an aviation helicopter pilot advised that he did not believe the north tower would last much longer.
there was no ready way to relay this information to the fire chiefs in the north tower. both the nypd rescue teams in the north tower knew that the south tower had collapsed and evacuated the building. one remained in the complex near five and six world trade center in order to keep searching for people who needed help. a majority of these officers died. at the time of the south tower's collapse a number of nypd port authority police officer, as well as some fdny personnel were operating in different groups in the north tower mezzanine, the world trade center plaza, and concourse, as well as on neighboring streets. many of these officers were thrown into the air and were enveloped in the total darkness of the debris cloud. within minutes of the south tower's collapse, these officers began to regroup in darkness and to lead the remaining civilians and injured officers out of the complex. many of these officers continued rescue operations in the immediate vicinity of the north tower and remain there had until the north tower collapsed.
many lost their lives. the collapse of the south tower also forced the evacuation of the port authority police command post on west and bessie street, forcing the officers to move north. there is no evidence that the port authority police officers from outside the world trade center command ever heard an evacuation order on their radios. some of these officers in the north tower determined to evacuate either on their own or in consultation with other first responders they came across. one port authority police officer from the world trade center command reported that he had heard an urgent evacuation instruction on his radio soon after the south tower collapsed. >> i remember stopping on the floors now from 44 down to check the floors to see if there were anybody left behind. there were some people that were , i guess, elderly or that required assistance that were just starting to come down, so i gathered them and said there's no time to wait anymore. i thought the time was of the
essence and i collected them with my party and we started going down. >> other port authority police said in the world trade center complex assisting with the evacuation. >> you can see into the plaza, but it's almost like an alleyway between tower one and i believe it was six immigrations department because i could see the immigration sign still, so i knew at that point where i was and we could follow that wall down and go into five. i had a clearer view to look up and i would look up and see whether or not things were falling. you couldn't see too high up. it wasn't like -- you could hear things. it was strange. you could hear whistling. you could almost tell when things were coming down. and if things were kind of quite, then i would holler "send two over" and they would come across and we could probably get like another 10 or so people
out. i honestly don't know what the count was. >> the north tower collapsed at 10:26 a.m. the fdny chief of department and the port authority police department superintendent and many of their senior staff were killed. the fire department of new york suffered the largest loss of life of any emergency response agency in u.s. history. the port authority police department suffered the largest loss of life of any american police force in history. the new york police department suffered the second largest loss of life of any police force in u.s. history, exceeded only by the loss of port authority police the same day. the nation suffered the largest loss of civilian life on its soil as a result of domestic attack in its history. >> there was a loud roar again.
someone yelled that the building was collapsing. and we started to run. when you have all that gear, you can't run too far, especially when the building is a quarter mile high. and what happened inside the building now happened outside. this beautiful, sunny day now turned completely black, and we were unable to see the hand in front of our face. and there was an eerie sound of silence. we lost -- that day we lost 2,752 people at the world trade center and 343 were firefighters . but we also saved 25,000 people. and that's what people should
services in these cities. in a few minutes, we will go to the pentagon. the president will be arriving there by helicopter. a third wreath-laying. then we will replay the pentagon ceremony, followed by a re-air of the ceremony at pennsylvania tonight, we have live coverage from the kennedy center. the united states will be part of that. all of that is archived at the c-span video library. if you'd like to watch that, this is all available for you as we archive today's coverage. we are going to take some calls.
from the pentagon, the honor guard, awaiting the president's arrival, and your tweets at c- span. and our conversation this afternoon is how the events affected your life. phone numbers on the screen. 2026241115. outside of america -- we are going to begin with a viewer from kentucky. >> good afternoon. the united states of america. god bless us all. i am carol, from waynesborough, kentucky. my daughter just got ran over
two years ago and iknow what they are feeling. my prayers go out to everyone who has lost their loved one. god is great and god is good. we will wipe this off and we will go on and we will always remember our loved onces, in our hearts, and our souls. we have to keep safe. and god-bless america. >> morgan tweets this. wasears since 9'11/11, i seven when it happened. as you know, you can send ups
a tweet. we welcome your participation. let me show you some headlines. we want to show how front pages captured these memorials. this is the miami herald. living with the new normal. 10 years after the attacks, americans keep their fear of terrorism in check. and this is the l.a. times. a graphic of the twin towers in flames as the front page. out of the smoke and fire came a day that changed people, families, nations, and the world. one more headline. the "hartford current." this shows -- family photographs
of people lost that day. the 9/11 attacks, remembering. these people were lost in the attacks. a look at those, from twin falls, idaho. >> hi. i was -- it has affected my life so much. i had family there and it hurts very much to be reminded, but we need to be reminded so we will be prepared. i pray so much it will never happen again. i am thank ful to our firefighters who risked their lives. trying to save everyone there. i am thankful we have the coast
>> the president and the first lady leaving that ceremony, a wreath laying ceremony. the president has one more event on his 9/11 schedule today, and that is at the kennedy center at 8:00 p.m. eastern. c-span will continue with coverage. we will continue taking telephone calls. we have been asking whether 9/11 affects you or life in society, so we are interested in hearing on that. we will take calls. a little bit later on this afternoon, we will be playing again several of the site events. bob, as the pentagon event took place, what do you have to say to us this afternoon? >> i am amazed i finally got through to c-span. i appreciate it. i am disappointed that in all of
the discussions over all of these years, they have never brought up the fact that when the contracts were awarded for the twin towers, architects from all of the world pointed out that those buildings would not have been allowed anywhere else in the world, that the awarding of those contracts was a criminal. the terrorists in new it, and that is why they attacked the building in 1993 and again in 2001. it was just a matter of time before somebody knocked them down, and the people who were responsible should have been brought to account for it. >> all right, bob, thanks for your comments. this viewer on twitter has the view that we have been remembering too often over the years, here is their comment. they read, "god forgive me, but they have hyped up 9/11 every
year so that it has been 10 years, it is like to carers?" we have a clip for you. this is from a pilot, lt. joe magrane a. he is now a full colonel, and he was interviewed on "the wall street journal" telling his story. he was one of those telling his story as the events were taking place with a possible assignment of intercepting planes if they were on the way to other targets. let's listen. >> to take up the target as your thinking, as you were flying out there, what was your plan? >> that was a time of my life.
and that was incredibly difficult. basically, i thought about if i had to do that, maybe in the cockpit, and then being able to hit the airplane where i might be able to eject to save myself, it was just a terrible, terrible feeling trying to figure out. trying to go for an engine or a wing. think of it, that did not happen.
if we were ordered to do that, that is what we would have to do. >> lieutenant-colonel joe mcgreevy, -- mcgrady. if he had to take one down, it would have been at risk of his own life. he would have had to hit it with his own plane, as he was talking about there. we are talking about the 9/11 memories and how the events of that day may have affected your life or our country's life. next is from florida. this is ann. ann, you are on c-span. >> yes, thank you. my name is ann. i now have three children serving in the navy, army, marines. this is not only a fight for freedom, but it is a fight of evil against a good, and we
cannot be complacent. we raised our children not to be so because freedom is not free. i sit here now, praying for my son and also border patrol. one graduates next month. four out of our six are serving. there is a vespers or prayer vigil at our church, and we will continue to pray. thank you. >> ann, from florida. there are lots of people who are treating -- tweeting their thoughts. one says this -- the next call is from pensacola. this is david. hello, david. you are on. >> i am good. i got into you. i remember seeing the showers
smoke. then i saw the second plane hit the second tower, and i called my daughter and said, look. to sit there and watch that, and it made me shed tears for people i did not even know, but then to know that there were people who were going in there who did not know those people either, who were giving their lives, it was such a touching moment, and to see what they were doing this morning really touched me, and i have got grandchildren now, and i try to pass on to them as to what people need to do is love one another, even our enemies. we are to love them, and sometimes it gets hard, and then we have to ask god to give us his love, but my hat is off to
all of those heroes that gave their lives, and i love them with all of my heart, and i love america and everyone here, and god bless america. >> david, from pensacola. next is a call from aster, who is watching us on the air in california. >> i was born on 9/11. >> aster, your problem is your tv volume. you will have to turn it down, or we will have to move on. >> on 9/11, i was having my birthday. everything changed. i wish i was not born. i regret that my birthday was on that day.
we as americans are very brave people. i could not come over it. every september, i am afraid of september because of that day. i hope all americans would come together. we can make it. it is everybody. i love america. i am still loving it. ok, god bless america, and god bless our country. >> one of many people with the 9/11 birthday, still struggling with their personal data being such a tragic day for the country. this is -- you are on the air, vesta.
>> my name is vetsta. i was watching television when i saw everything happening on 9/11. my cousin, as a result of 9/11, he died. he was a fireman said there from georgia. he died a few months later of lung cancer. his name was harrold. i would like to have his name be recognized. >> and so you have done. thank you for calling in with your personal family member who lost their life on that day. we're going to be playing the three major events of the day. we will begin our first replay of the pentagon ceremony right
now. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> yes, ma'am. >> ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the united states department of defense, we welcome you to the observance ceremony in honor of those lost at the pentagon and on flight 77 on september 11, 2001. please stand and welcome the vice president of the united states, joe biden, the secretary of defense, leon panetta, and the chairman of the joint chiefs, admiral mike mullen.
>> let us pray. oh, god, we are grateful you know always sustained and protected our great nation. our founders looked to you when they declared our independence. you have led and bless america. on that dark day 10 years ago, you were mixed us in the gloom of the day with a light shining in our hearts. we gather today to remember the events of september 11 and those who lost their lives. lord god, open our hearts today and every day to pay tribute to those who died, to remember, it to honor those who rendered aid with such courage and compassion and those who served in on the days that followed and
>> ladies and gentlemen, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, admiral michael mullen. >> mr. vice president, mr. secretary, distinguished guests, and most especially, families, friends, and loved ones of those killed near this spot on this day back in 2001. good morning, and welcome. let me begin by offering on behalf of the 2.2 million men and women to wear the uniform of the united states armed forces. but passing my deepest condolences to you for the loss you suffered an the greedy still indoor -- and the grave -- grief
you still endure. nothing can dampen the yearning that must still burning inside you. dreams were shattered. futures were instantly altered. hopes were tragically dashed. you come here, we all come here, to remember those folks and to mourn and to honor, but the greatest honor we bestow, the finest tribute we pay lies not in our gathering. it lies in our hearts. it lies in our deeds. it is the degree to which we have preserved the very ideals that others try to kill when they killed innocent men, women, and children.
i was struck by the words of a young woman who just wrote a letter to her dead father, a firefighter killed at the world trade center. "dear dad," she said." "i still feel your presence. you are with me every day. you inspire me to lead my life to help others and to be grateful for each moment. i do not know what the next 10 years will bring, but i do know that i have enough strength, wisdom, and support to take on anything. she remains proud of her father and of the sacrifice that he made so others need not, and she has committed herself to proving more the of that sacrifice. hers is truly the greatest monument, the most enduring
memorial, as it is with all of you. you, the families, have shown the rest of us away. quietly honoring the memory of your loved ones by how you lived and what you do. it is in the children and grandchildren, with major league dreams, college degrees earned, the businesses started the wedding is celebrated, the charity given, and the love and laughter shared. these are the things that terrorists could not eradicate. they could bring down the walls, but they could not bring down america. they could kill our citizens, but they could not kill our citizenship. and in that spirit and with that pride, a whole new generation has been inspired to serve, many
of them in uniform. indeed, from this place of wrath and tears, the american military ventured forward as the long arm and clenched fist of an angry nation at war. and we have remained at war ever since, visiting upon our enemies the vengeance they were due and providing for the american people the time and defense they demand. 2 million men and women have deployed to combat since 9/11, volunteers all. some of them know what colleague killed here. some of them were but a grade schoolers on that day. all of them have remained dedicated to making sure a day like that never happens again. they have done this with great skill and bravery, but they have also done it with the realization learned over time and at great cost that sometimes
we defend best our natural -- national interest when we help others defend their own and that sometimes in more, it is not the enemy lines that matter that you take but rather the innocent lives that you save. it is a lesson that you have helped teach us, and when that war takes the lives of our troops, when it snaps out the futures of so many bright, young stars, we again look to your example. we wrap our arms around families of the fonda when you have wrapped your arms around each other. the scottish poet thomas campbell, in his poem "hallowed ground," he says -- as we mark the end of this decade of war and remembrance, i
chairman, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, in particular, the families of those that were lost on 9/11. today, americans mark 10 years septemberthat calm, morning when our country, our people, our way of life came under attack in the worst terrorist attack in the history of the united states of america. as we come together this morning, at this memorial, we do
so knowing that the entire nation joins us in remembering the lives that were so cruelly taken away from us at the trade center, the pentagon, and in pennsylvania. for those who survived the attack and those who lost loved ones on that terrible day, there are no words to ease the pain that you still feel. at this moment, on this spot, it is difficult to believe that 10 years ago, this was the scene
of incredible devastation, of horrific fire and smoke, of heroic first responders who were struggling to bring dictums to safety, searching for survivors, fighting the flames. at this spot, at this moment. the wounds are still present, the emotions still raw. in its aftermath, you have shown a strength and acre rich that
embodies the character of america. in your determination to remember and honor the victims, to recover from the injuries and rebuild your lives, the entire nation finds inspiration, resilience, and resolved. as we recall that day of tragedy and trauma, of bravery and heroism we remember it as a final moment for all americans. we were challenged by al qaeda and it's a vicious hatred aimed squarely at our values. they tried to weaken us. instead, they made a stronger.
a generation of americans stepped forward to serve in uniform, determined to confront our enemies and respond to them swiftly. for 10 years, they have carried the burden to protect america, relentlessly pursuing those that would do us harm, who would threaten our homeland. because of their sacrifices, we are a safer and stronger nation today. the principal terrorist behind
these attacks has been brought to justice. we will never forget the human cost paid by this generation, the more than 6200 soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines lost in the line of duty. they paid the ultimate sacrifice for america. today, we think of their families who have suffered tragedy and heartbreak. they have shown extraordinary resilience and strength. we think of the thousands of veterans who carry be seen and unseen wounds of war. carry those wounds every day with them. we grieve for those losses out
of the darkness of this brief, out of the darkness of this borrow has come the light of inspiration to serve america, to fight our enemies, to protect the safety and freedom of the american people and to make our country stronger and better for future generations of americans. at this spot, at this moment, at 10 years later, this is our solemn player and our -- prayer and our solemn pledge to ourselves, our children, and our world. as we commemorate this anniversary here today, we are
suffered such a loss 10 years ago today, my wife and i want you to know our hearts go out to you. to those of you who survived that, with the act, i say, i am anyone who is honored to be here with you. to the family members, i know what is like to receive that call out of the blue. the deer is in your life is gone. i know these memorials are bittersweet moments for you. as you sit here right now, unlike a month ago, everything has come back in stark relief. it is precise. you remember that god-awful in
the healing and that feeling of hollowness. i want you to know that i personally believe that the courage you are showing today is remarkable. it is hard to come back. you have that sense of overwhelming pride and love and devotion, and also that feeling of, oh my god. your physical presence here today gives hope to thousands of americans who are trying to come to grips with the losses that you had that they are going through. when they see you here, you let them know that hope can grow
from tragedy there can be a second life. my mom used to say from everything terrible, something good will come if you look hard enough for it. in the beginning, there is no way to believe that. you are living proof for those people are scrambling and looking for that hope. it is possible. let me say that our thoughts, jill's thoughts, the whole nation's thoughts and prayers are with those who were wounded in the attack in the war. this war continues. the sacrifices of our forces in afghanistan around the world is astounding. i will have been little more to say about that in a moment.
we recall lives cut short on this day 10 years ago this morning, lives that touched every aspect of our national endeavor. a marine who lost his leg and in is like in vietnam and he used the second chance to become a thought of that. the secretary who worked for american airlines for 45 years whose colleagues considered her a second mother and who dressed as a mrs. claus every
christmas. the physicist who was a wonderful dancer. his wife said, she would never be able to dance with anyone else. he was a good, caring, and loving man. and so, so many others are remembered this morning with the moments of silence in small towns all across this country. nowhere are the memories more compelling or more real than in new york city, pennsylvania, and right here in northern virginia at the pentagon. words cannot ease the pain of these losses. paying tribute and recalling not just the horror of that day, but the heroism as well, can give you some resolve.
at 9:36 a.m., thousands of patriotic americans were going about their daily business in the building behind me. in this great citadel of our national defense. one minute later in not clot 37, and unconscionable tragedy struck. 37, and unconscionable tragedy struck. those who work in this building, many of you in front of me, and thousands of more first responders across the region, the firefighters and many others sprang to action risking their lives of their friends, their colleagues, and total strangers they had never met might live.
secretary runs felt himself did what he did as a young man. you, him and others went into the breach where death came in an instant. there were some survivors to be found,. a tour guide on the far side of the building, so far away that he never heard the plane hit. but he felt the commotion. he could have gone home. no one would have blamed him. but he was also a trained emt
and came from a family of firefighters. when people started streaming out of the building, he sprinted toward the crash site. for hours, he ought alternated between treating his co-workers and going in to the -- her alternated between treating his co-workers and going into the inferno. it was hard that the rescue workers at the pentagon needed a small fire truck needed to fit into small places. he knew he had one of the smallest around. he was fresh off of that all day shift. he barreled down the highway and battled the blaze all nights with thousands of others. at dawn, 14 hours on the job,
he sat on a bench and confronted a man, a man who he said was wondering aloud, why am i still alive? if i had not been at the dentist, i would have been in my office, totally destroyed, my colleagues gone. why me? it is a basic american instinct, to confront the afflicted. an american instinct summoned by the collective strength of the american people that we see come to the fore in our darkest hours, an instinct that echoes through the ages from pearl harbor to beirut, from mogadishu to ground zero. flight 93 and right here at the pentagon. those in this building that day
knew what they were witnessing. it was a declaration of war, by stateless actors bent on changing our way of life, who believed these horrible acts of terror directed against innocents could buckle our means, could begin to break as and break are resolved. e. but they did not know us. instead, that same american instinct that sent all of you into the breach, galvanized an entire new generation of patriots, the 9/11 generation. many of them were just kids on that bright september morning.
as they came of age, they showed up to fight for their country. they are still showing up. 2,800,000 of that 9/11 generation moved to join our military since the attacks on 9/11, to finish the war begun here that day. they joined knowing that they were in all likelihood going to be deployed in harm's way and, in many places, deployed multiple times in afghanistan, iraq, and other dangerous parts of the world.
those of you admirals' who command this building, turned this 9/11 generation into the finest group of warriors the world that amrinone. over a decade of war, they pioneered new tactics, mastered new language, and best new technology. they took on responsibilities once reserved only for those with considerably more seniority, responsibilities that extended beyond the base and the battlefield, to the politics of iraq and the economies of those countries and the development that laid the groundwork for us to leave behind stable countries that will not threaten us.
they were prepared to follow bin laden to hell's gate if necessary. and they got him. by god, to we owe those special operations guys who got them, many of whom lost their lives. but we will not stop until al qaeda is not only disrupted, but completely dismantled and ultimately destroyed. one more thing about this 9/11 generation of warriors, never before in our history has america had so much over such a sustained. . bank of an all volunteer force. -- period of an all volunteer
force. it was born right here on 9/11. [applause] as the admiral said, that generation has paid an incredible price. 4478 fallen angels in iraq. 1648 in afghanistan. more than 40,000 wounded in both countries, some of whom require care and support for the rest of their lives. having visited multiple times like many of you, i am awed not only by their capability, but by their sacrifices today and every day. the terrorists who attacked the pentagon sought to weaken
america by shattering this defining symbol of our military might and prowess. but they failed. they failed because they continued fundamentally misunderstand us as they misunderstood us on that day. the true source of american power does not lie within that building. as americans, we draw our strength from the rich tapestry of our people. just looking at the people before me, the families before me, the true legacy of 9/11 is that ours. is mightier. the bonds that unite us are thicker. be resolved is firmer than the limestone and concrete that make up that great at this -- great
edifice behind me. al qaeda and bin laden never imagined that the 3000 people lost their lives that they would inspire 3 million people to put on a uniform and harden the resolve of 300 million americans. they never imagined the sleeping giant they were about to awaken. they never imagined these things because they did not understand what has always enabled us to withstand any test that comes our way. you understood. you understood that every time this nation has come under attack, you who wear the uniform, you know every time this nation is attacked, its only emboldens us to stand up and strike back. but your family members also knew something else that a lot
of us did not know back then. your loved ones, those who you lost, who we now call here rose, were already here rose. they were heroes to you -- call heroes, were already heroes. they were the ones who tuck you in at night. they were the wives who knew your fears. they were the doctor who make you laugh. and the son who made you proud. i know. i know in my heart and so do all of the people on the stage now. they were absolutely ir replaceable. as i said in pennsylvania, no
memorial, no ceremony, no words will ever filled the void left in your hearts by their loss. my prayer for you is that 10 years later, when you think of them, 10 years later, when you think of this, it will bring a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye. my mom used to say, courage lies in every man's heart. her expectation was that one day it would be summoned. here on september 11, 2001, at -- 9:379 o'clock:37 a
a.m., it was summoned by those first responders to answer the call. courage lies it is in the hearts of americans. don't forget it. we will not forget them. may god bless you all. and most of all, may god protect our troops. [applause] \ >> you have been watching vice president biden this morning at the pentagon for the 9/11 10th anniversary ceremony. we are back live on c-span with
our coverage of the 10th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks. you can see. live pictures from those sites. we will continue to take your calls getting your remembrances of 9/11 and your thoughts about the 10th anniversary. we have divided our phone numbers by age. if you are 30 or under, we would like you to call 202-624-1111. those of you 61 years of age or older, 202-624-0760 is the number for you to call. our live coverage continues throughout the evening. we are going to be taking your calls. we will be showing you a couple
morning and it was a perfect day. we had come in the night before to a terrible stench. the red tide had killed a lot tell fish washed up on the beach. i knew the president would go for an aggressive run. i was worried that he might get sick. i went to see the white house physician. i asked if he would get sick if he went running. i went to see the president as he was putting on his running close. i said it stinks out there, but the doctors said you will be fine. i said, it is going to be an easy day. he ran in record time. he felt impressed with himself when he came back. we had a quick briefing of intelligence matters and piled into limousines and drove to an elementary school in sarasota. we were greeted by the principle. we walked into a classroom that had been converted into a white
house command center. there were people gathered around tables manning their positions to help the president. i heard two discussions. one was raised by karl rove. one question was, did anyone hear about a plane crash in new york? as the president was getting ready to walk into the classroom filled with second graders, a pool of press gathered at the bat. just before the principle open the door to the classroom, one of the staffers from the national security, the came up and said, it appears a small twin engine plane crashed into one of the towers of the world trade center in new york city. the reaction was, what a horrible accident. the pilot must have had a heart attack. the principal opened the door to
the classroom. the president went in with the principle. the doors shut. the same staffer came to me and said, it was not a small engine plane, it was a commercial jet liner. my mind flashed to the theory that was experienced by the passengers. you would have to note the airplane was not going up. that same staffer came to me again and said, another plane hit the other tower of the world trade center. i'd been knew it was not an accident or a coincidence. i performed a test that chiefs of staff have to perform all the time. does the president need to know? i made the decision. it was not a hard decision. he needed to know. what would i tell him? i decided to pass on two facts
and make one editorial comment. i would do nothing to abide a question. i opened the door of the classroom. it was unusual for me to enter a door that the president had already entered. i saw in content in the press pool. -- saw ann compton in the press pool. the teacher was speaking to the class. up?mouthed to me, what's i said -- and she said -- there was a break in the compensation in the front of the class. -- conversation in front of the class. i whispered into the president's year. a second plane hit the world trade center. america is under attack.
>> i will stop him. the president did not tell those words until months after the incident. andy, what i want to know is, before you walk in there, did you exert any authority? did you say, get air force one ready? did you start anything? >> i did not. i focused on getting the word to be president. i did not stay in the classroom long. i stood back from the president. i thought he reacted in the right way. he did nothing to demonstrate here to the press corps, who would have translated it to the satisfaction of terrorists around the world. i left, and then i moved into operational mode. i said, get lines of communication open to the fbi director in the situation room,
condoleezza rice, the secretary of defense. we have to get some remarks written for the president. we have to get the word to be secretary of education, who was about to leave the classroom and go speak to people gathered in gymnasiums. i move into operational mode after i left the president and while he was sitting in the classroom. >> did you have any conversations with the white house before the president came into the school cafeteria and said it was a terrorist attack? >> yes. there was a lot of fog in the air. people were trying to figure out what was going on. we got some televisions so that we could see what was happening on television. >> the president could see that in the hold. >> he could see the televisions that were brought in. we could see the television
coverage at that point. >> that was the former white house chief of staff talking with ann compton from any bank in 2009. we want to take some of your phone calls. we have the bite our own lines by age. you can see them there on the screen. those are live pictures you are looking at from new york, the pentagon, and shanks bell -- shanksville, pennsylvania. david on our hundred 30 line from kansas. you are on the air. -- our under 30 line from kansas. you are on the air. >> i have been watching the coverage and it made me realize that for our generation, the
9/11 attacks are the pearl harbor. my heart and soul goes out to all of the people who responded -- sorry. a little emotional here. i am italy grateful that there are people out there like that. -- eternally grateful that there are people out there like that. >> a tweet. i was 7 when 9/11 happened. those it did make me want to be a u.s. marine even more. sandy, go ahead. >> i feel the same way the last gentleman did who called. i am thankful for the people who
were samei. emotional, too. i hope that nothing like that ever happens again. in the plane that went down in i pray for the- families. >> delores in mobile, alabama, you are on c-span. >> i have been watching all day today and remembering. i would like to thank the ones who lost their lives and have their families to know that you are in my and america's constant prayer that these days and these years and these months will
continue to be a little easier on you. as i tell my grandkids here in mobile, alabama, we are so proud of c-span and your coverage and for those lives that were lost. we will never forget you. to the families, may god continue to hold you in this kind and constant care. >> tell me about your experience on 9/1110 years ago. >> i was at work. my sister called me. she said, you will not believe what happened. i was thinking something had happened in the family. she said, an airplane just ran into a building in new york. she said turn on the television
right now. i ran to the telephone -- the television in the board room. i stood there frozen. i could not believe that such as this could ever happen. when you come back to these memorials, it makes you remember. i was at work then and i have since retired. i watch every year. i watch c-span all the time. >> the "new york post" and "the new york times" both have stories about the new normal.
you are on the air. >> thank you for taking my call. i have been watching a lot of the culprit for the last two days. i have heard people say it has been 10 years. who care? the biggest thing to remember is that those people gave their lives for our freedom. freedom is not free. everything has been to keep america free. no matter if it affected your life personally or not, you can sit back and remember all of those who were lost and we must continue to fight for our freedom. >> thanks for calling in today. dick cheney has his biography out. friday morning, he was at the american enterprise institute talking about his book. the first question was about the
morning of 9/11. >> it was in a relatively short period of time. people began to gather in my office. the national security adviser was there. there were about 7 or 8 people in the room. my lead secret service agent came over to the desk where i was sitting. he said, sir we have to leave immediately. nothing like, please come with me. he put one hand on the back of my belt and one hand on my shoulder and literally propelled me out of my office. i did not have the option of not going with him.
he took me down to the emergency operations center. he received a report over the secret service radio that there was a hijacked aircraft at dulles headed toward crown at 500 miles per hour. that was the plane that went into the pentagon. i immediately use the telephone to place tha call to be preside. that was our second or third call that morning to let him know that washington was under attack as well as new york. the secret service strongly recommended that he not come
back. i also recommended that he not come back, believe that it was important for us to stay apart so that we did not become a riper target. on your screen is a live picture from shanksville, pennsylvania. that rock is where flight 93 went down. those of you ages 31-60, 624- 1115. we continue to take your calls on this 10th anniversary of 9/11. stockton, california, you are on the air. >> hello? i thought you honey up. >> you are on the air. your comment?
>> i am sorry about the people lost their lives. they did not have to. you guys have no idea. >> we will leave it there. from georgia, it is joe. >> i am a vietnam vet. search -- 1960'si 7 served -- i served 1967-1969. i watched 9/11 on television and i knew we were in a state of war. >> what do you think about the last 10 years?
>> i think every year we should have a memorial to this. every year, it should be a national holiday. we forget that freedom is not free. history will continue to repeat itself. >> jeanine in milwaukee, wisconsin. it is the 10th anniversary of 911 -- of 9/11. what are your thoughts? >> all of the innocent people who were hurt on 9/11. i educate my children now about the tragedy. we are thankful and grateful for the men and women.
we will go live to the kennedy center in washington, d.c. he president will be speaking at a tribute concert. we will bring you the entire hour from the kennedy center line. >> 10 years ago, i was in a refugee camp in gonna -- in ghana when i saw it on the television. people work morning -- were mourning over the loss.
it is something that still affects me. i have lung problems because of it. it's still something that i would do again. they were going through the debris looking for anything. a cnunk of -- chunk of flesh came through. at the distribution center where we actually help people, to hear the stories of family members who lost people.
i remember everything that happened that day. my prayers go every day to every person that was lost from the actions of these people. when people call in and say we do not need to have this on the television, i get angry. anyone who does not want to remember and pray for our country should be taken out to the middle of the ocean and left there. there might be a big crowd out there. wouldn't it be wonderful to be away from anyone who did not
have whatever it takes to pray for these people. >> that is annie in kentucky. here is the cover of the "new york post." here is the new york daily news. the new building is lit up in red, white, and blue. the pittsburgh post-gazette. they have a photograph of shanksville. this is alice. she is being motherm of mark bingham. it was at 10:03 a.m. 10 years ago that flight 93 crashed in
we gather here to remember ordinary men and women who did an extraordinary act of courage in an extraordinary way. three minutes after 10:00, united flight 93, after a struggle to protect freedom and life, flew over the sihill and into that field. pause with me for a moment of silence and thanksgiving.
i will attempt to read my part. i will ask when a pause that you reply "we all remember them." if i do not look up, it will be a lot better. in the rising of the sun and in it's going down, we will remember them. in the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter, and we remember them. in the opening of buds and in the rebirth of spring, we remember them. in the blueness of the sky and in the warmth of summer, we remember them. in the rustling of leaves and in the beauty of autumn, we remember them. in the beginning of the year, and when it ends, we remember
former governor tom ridge, and then the families of flight 93. >> good morning. it is truly an honor for me to be here to join you with my wife, pennsylvania's, and americans from around this country, to spend a few moments of reflection here today. over the past 10 years, we have heard this place compared to many other places. i know the family members have heard it repeatedly. i get the feeling when i go to some of those places, to gettysburg, to the alamo, and to
here. i get a feeling of spirit, of presence. we look to the past four comparisons trying to fully grasp what this hillside means. nothing can relief that it -- nothing can really fit it. the truth is that this place is like no other. the deeds aboard flight 93 were like no other. there is nothing with which to compare the passenger uprising of 10 years ago. it has no companion in his street in my mind -- in history in my mind. the passengers on flight 93 charter the new course and set a new standard for american bravery. they did not choose to go into battle when they boarded that jetliner. they started their own battle
when they realized that they were in the hands of men intent on striking another blow against a symbol of our nation. they preferred to shorten the final minutes of their own lives to defend their nation and fellow citizens. they halted the final attack on 9/11 using their own blood. to the men hadthan end tried to steal our spirit. they showed what makes us different. we refuse to be victims. we refuse to settle for the term "survivor." captivity will not suit us. we know that there are things more important than our own lives. chief among them is freedom. his that truth rose like smoke
over this field 10 years ago. today our capital stands. the city of washington is intact. the honor of our republic is stronger because of the strength of will and the sense of purpose of 40 american citizens who chose to be warriors, to sacrifice themselves to protect their fellow americans. they engaged in a battle armed only with the knowledge that they were right. that knowledge is perhaps the most powerful shield a people can carry. inore she joined the others rushing that cabin to stay the hand of tyranny, one of the
passengers made a telephone call. she spoke with her stepmother and said this. "it hurts me that it is going to be so much harder for you all then is for me." liz was only 27 years old. she was minutes from death. yet she worried about the burdens of the others. she was right. for the living, it is much harder. our troops on the ground, family members deal with this every day. daily we debate the size and scope of this war. we argue over the course of our nation and how to preserve our civil liberties while fighting against those who would use them against us. our tasks are hard, but we are
free to go about them as testimony to the grace and decency of the 40 who died here. nothing we build in stone and mortar can sufficiently on the deeds of the men and women of flight 93. nothing we say, short of their names, can speak to the greatness of their spirits, and their innate understanding of the duties of a citizen of this great country. we can only go about the business of being americans, of being strong and optimistic and vibrant people. the breezes on this hillside whisper of an unfinished agenda, one of freedom at home and abroad, a far away people's free from the yolks of dictators and biggest -- bigots.
we must complete them on behalf of those who lost their lives. there milestones' fixed along the roadside of our country's history. it is up to us to finish their journey. at the conclusion of the national anthem when you hear the words "and the home of the brave," clearly this site is the home of the brave. nay the rest in peace -- made a rest in peace -- may they rest in peace. [applause] >> when i found out yesterday that i would be making remarks today, i cursed pete. i was hopeful he would just give me something to read so that i
could plow through it without getting emotional. wally did something smart. he has his sunglasses on so it is hard to see his eyes. i do have to say something about wally. having been a part of this project for many years, a lot of folks out there probably do not have any idea of who wally miller is. but the families of flight 93 know who he is. i think we owe him a round of applause. [applause] la